Pretty much every messaging app out there supports some form of GIF integration, but so far WhatsApp has remained staunchly stuck to static images. The latest beta release for iOS shows that will likely change soon.
@WABetaInfo, which tracks changes to WhatsApp beta updates, notes that version 184.108.40.206 of the app will now autoplay GIF links and embed them directly into your conversations.
That’s a far cry from the full-fledged GIF search in apps like Messenger or Wire, but at least it means you won’t have to open up a browser just to see what your friend is sending you.
Interestingly the changelog also notes app will be able to save GIFs “as a simple image.” That’s a little odd given the reason for sharing a GIF is the animation, but perhaps it’s a space-saving thing.
We’ve contacted WhatsApp for more information and will update this post if we hear back.
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